Sunday, March 14, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I still have to research a thing or two before I blurb this Tim Burton film proper but if you were thinking of seeing it by all means do as it's fabulous.

and by now most of you have seen this and I've taken ages to follow up.

All around a fantastic surprise. I had concerns about Johnny Depp as the Hatter due to the advance posters, just didn't like the costume and makeup design. Five seconds after he hit the screen my fears were confirmed only to have them go "poof" ten seconds later and this now ranks up there as one of Depp's best performances in my mind. It was interesting to see Burton play this one "safe" as it were as the material was so strange there wasn't much need to weird things out. Great visuals, wonderful vocal cameos (Alan Rickman as Blue Caterpillar is excellent and listen for Christopher Lee) and proper use of the 3-D make this a pleasant surprise but what TRULY shocked me was the audience response and this is what I needed to confirm. During the scene where Hatter recites the poem of the Jabberwocky I was happy to hear various patrons narrating along only to be utterly shocked when most of the crowd were speaking along by the end. To hear a thousand lus people say "galumphing" is an absolute treat and it happened in the other three screenings I attended and it's the only time, aside from established cult films, I've witnessed this.
For those of you left who have not seen...get yer' arse down the hole!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

R.I.P.-Corey Haim

Amazing how the obvious can still surprise.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I went to my local bookie, Jimmy the Nose, to lay some bets on this year's Oscars and was promptly told to fawk off and git a life though he'd be more than happy to take my money if I wanted to bet against Jeff Bridges. Ain't happening so now it's down to a beer and bragging rights between Candy Minx ( ) and myself. Here is how I see it playing out.

Safe bet-NINE
Dr. K. bet-THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, because there is still a lot of love for Heath and it has to win something and it sure as shit won't be ART DIRECTION

Dr. K. bet-FANTASTIC MR. FOX, this is a hard one to call but I think this will edge CORALINE out

Safe bet-STAR TREK
Dr. K. bet-STAR TREK, come on....against IL DIVO and THE YOUNG VICTORIA?!?!?!? This should be a NO BRAINER.

if it loses this one I'll eat a pickled beet jar!

ditto....AVATAR though there is a slim chance SHERLOCK HOLMES might upset

Dr. K. bet-CHRISTOPH WALTZ, he DESERVES it but Woody has friends in...ahem..."high" places.

Dr. K. bet-THE DOOR


cluster fuck territory this
Safe bet-Mo'Nique
Dr. K. bet-same as that PRECIOUS flick is getting some serious props though Maggie Gyllenhaal could stun the audience with a win

another tough category
Safe Bet-believe it or not UP IN THE AIR
Dr. K. bet-a long shot but DISTRICT 9 and I'm still split on this or PRECIOUS.....hard one to call

Safe bet-AVATAR
Dr. K. bet-love to see STAR TREK get it but AVATAR will


Safe bet-Sandra Bullock
Dr. K. bet-could kill me in the final points but I have a funny feeling Gabourey Sidibe will snag this though many feel it's too early but as I mentioned, PRESCIOUS has props and some serious love.

Safe bet-AVATAR
Dr. K. bet-this could be the one DISTRICT 9 snags but I'd play it safe with AVATAR

Safe bet-who the fuck knows!

Dr.K. bet-DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS, because folks loved that damn PRINCESS AND THE FROG and that short fellow Newman is due for another

Safe bet-AVATAR though it shouldn't
Dr. K. bet-I don't suggest you put your money on it but INGLORIOUS BASTERDS....damn but the cinematography in that film was great!

Safe bet-AVATAR
Dr. K. bet-hmmmmmm yep...same!


Safe bet-THE COVE
Dr. K. bet-would love to see FOOD, INC. snag it but THE COVE is the pick.


JEFF BRIDGES------don't bother picking anything else and if he doesn't walk away with gold it wil be a major the CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS winning the Stanley Cup or something!

Safe bet-James Cameron
Dr. K. bet-love to see Bigelow get it but AVATAR was such a monster I don't think it will which means we'll have to listen to Cameron bellow "Im the king of the whatever those fucking blue slinky things are called"

Safe bet-AVATAR
Dr. K. bet-THE HURT LOCKER as I'm sure the Academy doesn't want to listen to Cameron ramble on any more than they have to.

There we go kiddies, stock up on the goodies (don't forget Asprin!) and remember...don't drink and drive...or blog for that matter!


By my reckoning this Steve McQueen (he should have changed his name!) biopic concerning the controversial life and death of I.R.A. activist Bobby Sands should have been eligible for this year's Oscars though I may be slightly off on that. If it was then HUNGER stands out as the big oversight this time 'round. Let me be straight on this one, HUNGER is in no way shape or form a feel good film and it pulls no punches in it's exploration of Sands as a man but it is one extremely well crafted film hence why I say it's ommison is a puzzling one. Politics may certainly have had something to do with it but it's never stopped the Academy before. Well, it has but it seems to be less of an issue these days. While I often prefer to let you see the films for yourself and this is certainly the case with HUNGER, I will offer this. As brutal as some of the scenes are, I'm told they in no way shape or form approach the violent truth of just how bad the prisons in Northern Ireland were during the troubles. I have friends who were there both inside and out and they all swear this. Also, these same people look fondly on HUNGER though their complaint right across the board was that it should have given more information on Thatcher and what her government was doing at the time. Take from that what you will but I guarantee do not watch a movie like HUNGER without it changing you in some way.

District 9

An all around surprise this one turned out to be. Like so many of the new sci-fi features hitting the big screen the trailers looked great, the ad campaign was superb therefor it was a pretty safe bet to say the film was going to suck. It didn't at shockingly earned itself four Oscar nominations. Hard to say if it will grab one but it doesn't really matter, the fact it was noticed is amazing enough. I won't waste your time going on about DISTRICT 9. Great, and I do mean GREAT, script with a fantastic concept. Killer action with a point and purpose, supremely acted, constructed with an overall effect you won't quickly forget. Can easily be watched by those who can't stand the genre though you might think twice before you ever eat a prawn again.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Hurt Locker

Well, I 'll say one thing for Kathryn Bigelow, she sure knows how to piss people off with her art. I'm amazed at how many people are upset with THE HURT LOCKER but you can read about that somewhere else. It's a slow film that makes you work which is probably why so many think it's overrated. It isn't and I'd like to see more flicks like this coming out of Hollywood. Bigelow doesn't chew our meat, she puts it on the table and we as viewers can take what we want and I'd sugest you take the fat and gristle as well for the full reward. While the story is not linear as such it does have a fantastic ending which pulls the whole thing together. Some great cameos which I won't ruin for you and just all around a fabulous picture.
Will it win best picture at this year's Oscars. Hard to say but I think James Cameron's ex is going to squeak by AVATAR and and nab it. Jeremy Renner, who might have been a little too baby faced for the role, is up for best actor and he deserves it but with the Vegas bookies laying a line of 6 to 1 for Jeff Bridges to take it for his work in CRAZY HEART I doubt he'll take it and this is about all you need to know about THE HURT LOCKER.

The Lovely Bones

I made a bad mistake with this one in that I popped in on a screening between films and what little I saw left me cold. I think it can be said we were all excited when we heard Peter Jackson snagged the rights to the Alice Sebold novel and with what he had done in the past with LOVELY CREATURES almost made this a no-brainer. Then the critics at large pretty much ripped this baby a new one and it just kind of faded off in the sunset. Now, like so many things I could go on and on but I have to get this blurbed before the Oscars so let me just throw a few thoughts out there. THE LOVELY BONES is in fact a great film IF you try to look at it through the eyes of a 14 year old and this is where I think many missed the point of what Jackson was trying to achieve. He was blasted for glossing over the horror of Susie Salmon's rape and murder and if you attack it from the viewpoint that Jackson was making a film for teenagers then this decision makes perfect sense. Of course I read the book and at the time I thought Sebold had been writing for a younger market and just so happened to land a blockbuster which appealed to adults. I don't know if this is true but it was the sense I got. The second thing I would like to point out is Mark Wahlberg. He was roasted for not having the chops to fill his role...unfairly so. Jackson lost his lead, Wahlberg just so happened to be in the area and stepped up to the plate and he is nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe. Susan Sarandon was not wasted as some claim, merely a diversion and Rachel Weisz gives an understated performance needed for this project. The great Michael Imperioli could have been better utilized but as it is his role was merely a bit part anyway. This brings us to Stanley Tucci. Is he great as our murdering George Harvey? Yes. Does he lok like he watched Jeff Bridges in THE VANISHING a hundred times to prepare for the role? You betcha! Will he win the Oscar for supporting actor. Any other year he'd have a damn good shot but not this one. There is no way in Hell anybody is beating Christoph Waltz in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and you can take that to the bank. In closing THE LOVELY BONES is a great piece of work if you remember the 14 year old eyes (by the way, Saoirse Ronan is fantastic as Susie Salmon) and you gotta love a flick that has THIS MORTAL COIL and THE COCTEAU TWINS in the soundtrack. Well worth the rental fee.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Closed for Winter (Elise)

To my knowledge I've never read a book by Georgia Bland and I'd never seen a film by James Bogle but I sure as Heaven know Natalie Imbruglia. I must have gone through at least three copies of the LEFT OF THE MIDDLE CD so I was surprised to see her surface in this Australian film. I was twice as surprised to discover she's be quite active with both music and acting down under.....we just aren't seeing it here. CLOSED FOR WINTER is an interesting piece of "chick flick" with the BIG C reflection stuff which will require a box of tissue or two. Rather slow with little satisfaction climax wise I did however like the picture. Some understated visuals help compliment the emotional themes explored though the pacing will turn some viewers off. Certainly worth a look EARLY in the evening as later viewing will more than likely result in instant slumber.

Julie & Julia

At this stage in the game, and I'm sorry I didn't get to blurb this one sooner, the big question is will Streep get the Oscar for this one and the answer would be probably no. While many say the split is between her and Sandra Bullock in THE BLIND SIDE but for some reason folks are forgetting Gabourey Sidibe in PRECIOUS : BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE who I think might sneak away with the win but nevermind that, we're talking about JULIE & JULIA.
Nora Ephron scripted an amazing hybrid of blogger Julie Powell's book and a mutated version of chef Julia Child's life and presents us with a juxtaposed movie of supreme import. Serious, rather than AVATAR or THE HURT LOCKER, this should have had a best picture nod. I laughed, I actually cried (tears of joy) and I absolutely loved this film. Was Streep great? Yes but the big surprise for me was Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams. I could go on and on about JULIE & JULIA but I won't other than to say it was great to see Ephron utilize Dan Aykroyd's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit and you should buy the DVD rather than rent it, watch it once, watch the extra featrues and watch it again and then the complexities of this work will be clearer. Bon appetit!